The building housing the Greek Parliament is stable and any changes brought about by seismic activity are closely monitored, House President Konstantinos Tassoulas said on Tuesday, rejecting concerns raised by a seismologist.
Tassoulas was responding to National Technical University Professor Panayiotis Karydis, who told the state broadcaster ERT on Tuesday that there are 10 cracks inside the 178-year-old building, and another at the main entrance, above the Monument to the Unknown Soldier. He argued that those cracks were created by earthquakes and the construction of the underground garage.
“I do not claim that it is dangerous because I have not conducted an assessment, but it means more attention is required,” Karydis, who heads the NTUA’s laboratory for anti-seismic technology, told ERT, adding that “without timely and correct interventions, every static problem becomes worse.”
Speaking to journalists during a briefing on Tuesday, Tassoulas said “there is no issue, nor any alarm” regarding the stability of the building.
“Every modernization project that has been done in the Greek Parliament has improved and enhanced the structural integrity of the building,” he said, adding that during the construction of the underground garage engineers added support columns that strengthened its stability further.
Engineers of the House’s Technical Service have concluded that any cracks observed have remained unchanged, Tassoulas added.
The building was designed by Bavarian architect Friedrich von Gartner to serve as the first royal palace for Greece’s first king, Otto, with funds donated by Otto’s father, King Ludwig I of Bavaria.
Construction work started in 1836 and was completed in 1843. It has housed the Hellenic Parliament since 1934.